Education secretary reveals delay to SEND review


The publication of the government’s pioneering review into the provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been pushed back until early 2021.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said that work had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, causing it to be delayed.

Initially commissioned in September 2019, the review is designed to assess regional disparities in SEND provision across England in a bid to ensure that all pupils can access quality education.

It will focus on how the Department of Health and Social Care enables the delivery of care for those with SEND, while also assessing the impact of the introduction of education, health and care plans.

Mr Williamson told the Parliamentary education committee that the review’s publication is later than he would have liked.

It follows calls for “concrete action” on the back of the review by the Parliamentary public accounts committee earlier in 2020, as they recognised that the system is not delivering support as required.

The committee previously suggested that pupils with SEND were not getting all of the support they needed to perform to their maximum, alongside several recommendations as to how improvements could be made.

Few details have been released about the SEND review to date, although the Department for Education has been warned that it must include fresh information, and not elements previously seen by the committee.

According to a spokesperson for Department for Education, the review “will look at how to improve the whole system for those children, young people and their families, who need additional help to access the support they need”.